Head Coach Russell Latapy is pleased with the three points the senior men’s football team secured, but says there is still room for improvement.
“I am delighted with the three points. I think we played well in certain areas. We just weren’t as clinical as we would like to be, as we should be, in the offensive third. From watching the game I know we had a lot of possession of the football. We want to play that type of way with the football, and it is now just a question of fine-tuning and doing things in the right areas,” he said upon the team’s return a week ago.
The Bajan Tridents were defeated 1-0 against Panama and won 1-0 against Anguilla in the first leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in the Dominican Republic.
But Latapy said the team of seniors needed to be better and learn how to deal with the different sides of things.
“I think because in most games we play, and this is not knocking it but it’s just a reality of the situation, we’re underdogs. I think we’re most comfortable playing as underdogs where we have to fight and scrape,” he explained.
Latapy, who has been head coach at the Barbados Football Association (BFA) for the past two years said the team needed to work on their offensive play.
“Saying that, we had two or three weeks before this game obviously didn’t help. We had to get the fitness levels up, we had to get our organization up which was the main focus. I think we were able to do that,” he said.
The team spent two weeks in a bubble at Cap Cana, Punta Cana, training ahead of the Qualifiers. It was a welcome change as contact sports in Barbados remain banned, and the Tridents have seen no competitive action for over 14 months.
“All in all, when we looked at it before we traveled, we knew one would be a very difficult game and we thought with the other we would come out with the three points, which I am delighted we did. There are no easy games in international football. The game is played on the day and I think Anguilla has a fantastic young manager in Stern John, and he made it really difficult for us to break them down.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the goals and they made it really difficult for us I must say. When I spoke to their coach after the game, he said to me they really had to park the bus in front of the goal, and fair play to them, they defended really well,” Latapy said.
Overall, Latapy said there were a couple of things they wanted to do that they were able to achieve.
“We have a philosophy and identity that we want to try to create to play with the football, and in that game [against Anguilla] we were able to do it. I think we had a lot of the football, but I also believe if you have all the possessions in the wrong area, it adds up to nothing.
“In this game, we had a lot of possession in the back and the middle third. Yes, we controlled the game, but it was a fantastic learning experience for us, and although we have possession we have to make that possession count in the right areas to create more goal-scoring opportunities,” he noted.